Visalia Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking
FRESNO, CA—Tyrell Richmond, 33, of Visalia, pleaded guilty today to sex trafficking a minor, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on June 21, 2014, FBI’s Fresno Child Exploitation Task Force and members of the Fresno Police Department’s Vice Unit conducted undercover operations targeting prostitutes who appeared to be underage. During the investigation, they detained three 16-year-old girls, all of whom were runaways, at a motel in Fresno. Further investigation revealed that Richmond had prostituted the girls for about one week, first in Visalia and then in Fresno. Richmond collected all of the money received by the girls, and did not permit them to leave their motel rooms, other than to get ice.
Richmond is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2016. He faces a sentence of between 10 years and life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Visalia Police Department, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Frye is prosecuting the case.